ad link

Sharks

FULL-TIME
25     21

Rebels

Super Rugby | Durban
17:10 (GMT) | 29-05-2015
  • 81
Join us at 07.05 GMT for more Super Rugby action!
  • 80
The maul is set but it goes to ground and that's it! FULLTIME!
  • 79
B du Plessis rips the ball loose in the tackle and the Sharks are back in possession on the halfway line. PENALTY! The Rebels are penalised for a high tackle. Cronje opts to kick the ball into touch for a line-out on the Rebels' 10 metre line
  • 78
PENALTY! The Sharks backline advances before the scrum is concluded. The Rebels boot the ball up-field for a line-out on their 10 metre line
  • 77
Sharks are back on the attack and find themselves on the Rebels' 22. Cronje sends through a well weighted grubber that sees Pietersen charge after it. The centre slides in his attempt to ground the ball but only manages to knock it on over the try line. Scrum to the Rebels on their 5 metre line
  • 76
Debreczeni makes light work of the conversion and we have 4 point game
  • 75
The Rebels manage to scramble well enough to execute a turnover and Higginbotham sprints away! A few passes later and Hegarty gets the score!
  • 74
Mvovo gathers a lose ball on his 22 and sprints through the Rebels defence and is finally brought down on the 22
  • 73
Cronje adds his second penalty of the match to stretch the lead to 11 points
  • 72
It has taken plenty of time to get a proper scrum but Ungerer decides to probe the short side. PENALTY! The Rebels are penalised for collapsing the scrum. Cronje will have a shot at goal
  • 69
Another error sees the Sharks pounce on a loose ball and hack it up-field into the Rebels' 22. The Rebels scramble in defence but lose the ball at the breakdown to hand the Sharks the scrum feed on the Rebels' 22
  • 68
The Rebels find themselves on the attack and have made their way to the Sharks' 22
  • 66
The Rebels manage to immediately sack the maul and the Sharks are forced to spread the ball to the backline. Bothma looks to run onto a pass but loses the ball forward and hands the Rebels the scrum feed just inside their 22
  • 65
The maul is set and the Sharks make a few metres before the Rebels are penalised for entering the maul from the side. Cronje opts to kick the ball into touch for a line-out 8 metres from the Rebels' try line
  • 64
Cronje places a huge territorial kick in that comes to rest just short of the Rebels' try line, they boot the ball into touch on their 10 metre line to hand the Sharks the line-out.
  • 63
Majola wins the ball at the breakdown. The ball is recycled but the Rebels attempt at an interception sees them knock the ball on. Sharks will have the scrum feed on their 10 metre line
  • 62
The Sharks are looking to hit right back and have made their way to the Rebels' 22 but they can't seem to hold onto the ball long enough as the Rebels win the ball back
  • 60
Debreczeni makes no mistake with the extra points to reduce the deficit to eight points
  • 59
The Sharks are beginning to lose their discipline at the breakdowns. Higginbotham breaks through the Sharks midfield and sprints all of 25 metres to score under the uprights
  • 58
Tomani knocks the ball on at second receiver and the Sharks boot it up field. The Rebels managed to scramble in defence and are back in possession on their 10 metre line. They get the ball into Sharks territory and Ungerer is forced to run the ball into touch
  • 57
Excellent scrum by the Rebels sees them being awarded a penalty. They pop the ball into touch for a line-out
  • 56
Wentzel steals the line-out ball and the Sharks set the maul but they are not able to make use of the ball and the Rebels will have the scrum feed on the Sharks' 22
  • 53
The Sharks are in full attack mode with Pietersen having a go at the Rebels defence. PENALTY! The Rebels are able to release the pressure after the Sharks go off their feet at the breakdown
  • 52
Cronje adds the extra points for the home side
  • 51
Williams makes a massive break from the resulting line-out and finds himself breaking through tackles from the halfway line and cross the try line
  • 50
The Rebels regain possession from the restart and have edged their up into the Sharks' 22. PENALTY! The Rebels fail to release the ball at the breakdown and the Sharks are able to clear the pressure
  • 49
He strikes it sweetly and it shaves the right upright for a narrow miss
  • 48
Another untidy bit of play by the Sharks sees Wentzel play the ball on the ground to hand the Rebels a penalty! Debreczeni will have a shot at goal from close to 60 metres
  • 46
The Sharks are making use of their extra man and have mauled the Rebels up the field from the restart. PENALTY! The Rebels are penalised for entering the maul from the side and the Sharks are able to kick the ball up-field for a line-out on the Rebels' 10 metre line
  • 45
Cronje fails to add the extra points as he pushes the conversion to the right of the right upright
  • 44
Rebels run the ball at the Sharks and have made their way onto the Sharks' 22! INTERCEPTION! Mvovo grabs the interception and sprints up field to grab a try against the run of play
  • 42
A kicking battle ensues that ends with Cronje knocking the ball into touch on the Sharks' 10 metre line
  • 41
KICK-OFF! Debreczeni gets the match back underway but the chase is knocked on and the Sharks will have the scrum feed on their 22

Half Time

  • 40
The ball is spread wide and finds Higginbotham who busts through a tackle and dives over for the Rebels
  • 40
Debreczeni slots the extra points to narrow the gap to 3 at the HALF-TIME interval
  • 39
Taken some time to get the scrum set but the Rebels maintain possession and are using their forwards to edge closer
  • 37
Solid scrum by the Rebels sees them inches from the line. PENALTY! The Sharks are penalised for sealing off the ball at the breakdown. Rebels opt for a scrum
  • 35
The Rebels launch an attack from the restart and have found gaps in the Sharks' defence. They have made their way over the try line but are held up excellently by Pietersen and Bothma. Rebels will restart the match with the feed to an attacking 5 metre scrum
  • 34
The Sharks find Sithole from the back of the scrum and the wing muscles his way over from 5 metres out to grab the first try of the match
  • 34
Cronje makes no mistake with the extra points
  • 32
The ball is claimed and finds Cronje who places a chip kick and puts the Rebels under pressure. KNOCK-ON! The Rebels fail to hold onto the ball and the Sharks will have the scrum feed 7 metres from the Rebels try line
  • 31
Debreczeni manages to kick the ball into touch on his 22. Throw-in to the Sharks
  • 30
Sharks throwing everything they have now at the Rebels but a promising attack comes to nothing as a knock on stops 5 metres from the try line
  • 29
Ndungane successfully chases down an Ungerer high ball to maintain possession for the Sharks inside Rebels territory! J du Plessis is shown Yellow while Laurie Weeks is sent to the shower for landed a few hooks!
  • 27
Kicks are traded from the restart and ends with Ungerer kicking the ball directly into touch to hand the Rebels the throw-in to the line-out
  • 25
The Sharks release their backline from the back of the scrum but kick the ball up-field to allow Harris to claim a fair catch inside his 22
  • 24
The Rebels keep it among the forwards but as they approach the 22, they lose the ball forward and hands the Sharks the scrum feed
  • 23
An exchange of possession, this time through handling errors sees the Rebels have a scrum feed inside the Sharks' territory
  • 21
The Sharks get possession back but coughs it up almost immediately. Neither side wants the ball as they gladly look to kick it back at their opponents
  • 20
Ndungane makes a well-timed tackle on English as the Rebels regain possession following a Cronje high ball
  • 19
The handling errors continue as Wentzel once again knocks the ball on to hand the Rebels the scrum feed close to the halfway line
  • 18
The deadlock is broken and the Sharks have the lead as Cronje splits the uprights
  • 16
Cronje charges down Debreczeni's attempted clearance kick. PENALTY! The Rebels are caught in an offside position following a knock-on. Cronje will have a shot at goal
  • 15
Wentzel loses the ball forward as he attempts to catch it. Scrum feed to the Reels on their 22
  • 14
STOLEN! The Rebels steal the line-out and Debreczeni is able to kick the ball away from the try line! Sharks line-out on the Rebels' 22
  • 13
Sharks are looking dangerous as they maintain possession inside the Rebels' 22. The forwards are doing the donkey work at the moment and have their way to the 5 metre line. Rebels are caught offside at the breakdown and the Sharks opt for a line-out
  • 10
It's taken some time to set the scrum and it ends with a short arm penalty to the Rebels. Debreczeni puts in a high ball but Ndungane makes a clean grab. The Sharks make their way up-field and employs a kick-and-chase. Higginbotham gets there first but he fails to hold onto the ball. Scrum to the Sharks on the Rebels' 10 metre line
  • 8
Rebels regain possession from a Sharks kick up-field. They're passing the ball with confidence but are making no gains. Ndungane leaps to grab an interception but fails to hold onto the ball. Scrum to the Rebels on their 10 metre line
  • 7
Play has become a little scrappy with passes being juggled or missing their intended player but the Sharks remain in possession on the halfway line
  • 5
Bothma breaks off the back of a solid scrum but fails to release the ball after going to ground and hands the Rebels a chance to clear the early pressure
  • 4
Rebels feed is skew and the Sharks have opted for a scrum of their own just inside the Rebels' 22
  • 3
Sithole catches a high ball and sets off on a blistering run, breaks three tackles and takes the Sharks up to the Rebels 22. The ball is quickly recycled by Bothma fails to hold onto the ball and hands the Rebels the scrum feed
  • 1
Sharks gets the first line-out of the match but Wentzel is unable to make a clean catch and the Rebels will feed the first scrum of the match
  • 0
KICK-OFF! Cronje gets the match underway
  • -5
Perfect conditions await the players as nothing but pride is on the line
  • -10
The Sharks have won 10 of the last 11 games when they have hosted Australian opposition while the Rebels' wait for a win in South Africa continues as they have lost all nine games so far and have conceded at least 30 points in eight of those games.
  • -20
Some late changes in the Sharks camp sees Khaya Majola making his debut with Ryan Kankowski ruled out of the match
  • -30
Welcome to Match Three of Round 16 where the Sharks host the Rebels in Durban!
Mc sharks logo 80x50
Sharks
Mc rebels logo 80x50
Rebels
START LINE UP
  • 15 Lwazi Mvovo
  • 14 Odwa Ndungane
  • 13 JP Pietersen
  • 12 Andre Esterhuizen
  • 11 S'bura Sithole
  • 10 Lionel Cronje
  • 9 Stefan Ungerer
  • 8 Renaldo Bothma
  • 7 Etienne Oosthuizen
  • 6 Khaya Majola
  • 5 Marco Wentzel
  • 4 Mouritz Botha
  • 3 Jannie du Plessis
  • 2 Bismarck du Plessis
  • 1 Tendai Mtawarira
RESERVES
  • 23 Heimar Williams
  • 22 Fred Zeilinga
  • 21 Conrad Hoffmann
  • 20 Jean Deysel
  • 19 Lubabalo Mtyanda
  • 18 Lourens Adriaanse
  • 17 Matt Stevens
  • 16 Franco Marais
START LINE UP
  • 15 Mike Harris
  • 14 Dominic Shipperley
  • 13 Sefanaia Naivalu
  • 12 Mitch Inman
  • 11 Tom English
  • 10 Jack Debreczeni
  • 9 Luke Burgess
  • 8 Scott Higginbotham
  • 7 Colby Faingaa
  • 6 Sean McMahon
  • 5 Lopeti Timani
  • 4 Luke Jones
  • 3 Laurie Weeks
  • 2 Pat Leafa
  • 1 Toby Smith
RESERVES
  • 23 Bryce Hegarty
  • 22 Jordy Reid
  • 21 Nic Stirzaker
  • 20 Scott Fuglistaller
  • 19 Cadeyrn Neville
  • 18 Paul Alo-Emile
  • 17 Cruze Ah-Nau
  • 16 Tom Sexton
Mc article blade thomson hurricanes v cruaders 630

Preview: S15 Round 16, Part One

Wed, 27 May 2015 23:55

The ninth-placed Crusaders could be ruled out of Super Rugby's play-offs for the first time in more than a decade. Jan de Koning reports.

The ninth-placed Crusaders could be ruled out of Super Rugby's play-offs for the first time in more than a decade.

The seven-time champions last missed the knock-out stages of the competition in 2001, when they finished a lowly 10th. The only other times they did not make the cut was in the first two year's of the sport's professional era, 1996 and 1997.

Since 2001 they have not only won seven titles in 13 years, but also finished runners-up on four other occasions.

They will need to cause a major upset against the competitions runaway leaders, the Hurricanes, in Nelson on Friday to avoid the ignominy of finishing with double digits as their final position in the tournament.

This intriguing encounter at Trafalgar Park is followed by the crunch clash between the Brumbies and Bulls in Canberra - two teams not quite as desperate as the Crusaders, but also on the verge of losing touch with the tournament's pace setters. The Brumbies are currently in sixth place and Bulls in eighth.

Friday's action is completed when two teams, the Sharks (11th) and Rebels (10th), face off in Durban. For all intents and purposes both are already out of the running and will be playing for pride only.

We look at Friday's matches!

Friday, May 28

Crusaders v Hurricanes

(Trafalgar Park, Nelson - Kick-off: 19.35; 07.35 GMT)

The fortunes of the two teams couldn't be more contrasting if they tried.

The Hurricanes have already secured their place in Super Rugby's season-ending play-offs - even though they are still chasing a home semifinal.

The Crusaders have accepted, barring a miracle, they are out of play-off contention.

The seven-time champions will be playing for pride and hoping to keep their dignity intact.

Having been decimated by injuries - including concussions to key players Kieran Read, Sam Whitelock and midfielder Ryan Crotty - the Crusaders are also without flyhalf Colin Slade (thigh), prop Joe Moody (foot) and fullback Israel Dagg.

The table-topping Hurricanes - who have been runners-up once and reached the semifinals on another five occasions - are determined to go all the way this year.

That means showing no mercy to their compatriots and recording a win that will guarantee them first place on the standings.

"It's pretty satisfying," Hurricanes captain Conrad Smith told the Dominion Post, when asked about his team's lofty standing this year.

"From four years ago it's largely the same group who were told we weren't much of a rugby team. We haven't had to recruit much.

"We've got Ma'a [Nonu] back and Franksy [Ben Franks] from down south, and a few guys have come through the region. I don't think a lot of the other New Zealand teams could boast the same thing."

And Smith said there was no chance of complacency with the squad desperate to make the good times flow through to a home semifinal in Wellington.

"We want to keep winning, we're enjoying the ride we're on. We don't want to just stagger into the playoffs… you lose momentum and that's when everything comes undone."

Recent results:
2015: Hurricanes won 29-23, Wellington
2014: Hurricanes won 16-9, Wellington
2014: Hurricanes won 29-26, Christchurch
2013: Crusaders won 25-17, Christchurch
2013: Hurricanes won 29-28, Wellington
2012: Hurricanes won 23-22, Christchurch
2012: Crusaders won 42-14, Wellington

Prediction: The Hurricanes have won five of their last six Super Rugby games against the Crusaders. However, all of these victories have come by a margin of seven or fewer points. The Canes remain unbeaten on the road this season, winning all six games and not conceding more than 19 points in any of these matches. The Crusaders have averaged more clean breaks per game (11.3) than any other side this season while the Hurricanes lead the way for defenders beaten (23). The Canes (96 percent) and the Crusaders (92 percent) rank first and second respectively for scrum success this season. The Hurricanes have gained more metres per game than any other side this season (533) while the Crusaders rank second in that regard (520). The Crusaders will make a fist of it and can even cause an upset. However, we feel the Hurricanes have too much class and will win by more than a converted try.

Teams:

Crusaders:
15 Tom Taylor, 14 Nafi Tuitavake, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 David Havili, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Jordan Taufua, 7 Richie McCaw (captain), 6 Matt Todd, 5 Jimmy Tupou, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Alex Hodgman.
Replacements: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Tim Perry, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Dominic Bird, 20 Luke Whitelock, 21 Andy Ellis, 22 Kieron Fonotia, 23 Jone Macilai.

Hurricanes: 15 James Marshall, 14 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 13 Conrad Smith (captain), 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Otere Black, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Blade Thomson, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Brad Shields, 5 James Broadhurst, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Reggie Goodes.
Replacements: 16 Motu Matu'u, 17 Ben May, 18 Ben Franks, 19 Mark Abbott, 20 Victor Vito, 21 Chris Smylie, 22 Rey Lee-Lo, 23 Matt Proctor.

Referee: Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Kane McBride (New Zealand), Richard Kelly (New Zealand)
TMO: Chris Wratt (New Zealand)

Brumbies v Bulls
(Canberra Stadium, Canberra - Kick-off: 19.40; 11.40 SA time; 09.40 GMT)

The Brumbies are planning an early blitzkrieg against the Bulls, hoping to catch the South African tourists napping and forcing them to chase the game.

Brumbies win Joe Tomane said they are wary of the Bulls, a physical outfit that can scrap to the bitter end if the game is close.

"We have lost a few tight games this year, so the way to not lose a tight game is to score four tries in the first 20 minutes, blow it out of the park," Tomane told the Canberra Times.

"We'll be trying to do that, but they're a quality side and I don't think they'll let us.

"It will be a tight contest and we'll be doing everything we can to get the win."

Bulls coach Frans Ludeke sees the game very differently, expecting the Brumbies to use their much-vaunted kicking game to secure field position before launching any raids.

"It will be like Test rugby, with field position, turnovers, special moments," Ludeke said in a teleconference call from the team's base in Canberra.

He said basics, like the set pieces, will need to be spot on.

The Bulls coach said his team has worked hard on their set pieces, especially the scrums - which were an issue earlier in the season.

"That will be a challenge and something we have worked on, to get the pack to function as a unit," Ludeke said, adding: "That has been a focus area for us and it will be a test to see how much we have improved."

He said that with his team in a must-win situation, there has been a different focus this wee.

"We know there is no longer a safety net," he said of their hopes to make the play-offs.

"We need to be spot-on with our execution. The team is responding well and we know we need a special performance at the weekend."

Recent results:
2014: Bulls won 44-23, Pretoria
2013: Brumbies won 26-23, Pretoria (semifinal)
2013: Brumbies won 23-20, Canberra
2012: Bulls won 36-34, Pretoria
2010:  Bulls won 50-32, Pretoria
2009: Brumbies won 32-31, Canberra

Prediction: The last six games between these sides have seen an average aggregate of 62 points scored. In fact, in the entire 19 Super Rugby games between the teams, the average aggregate is 57 points. The Bulls have only won once in eight away trips to play the Brumbies, with that win coming in 2007. Only the Bulls (5.5) have averaged fewer off-loads per game than the Brumbies (6.3) in this campaign. The Brumbies have conceded fewer clean breaks (5.3) and metres (350) per game than any other side this season. The Brumbies have scored a competition-high 21 tries when beginning possession in their opponents' 22, and have also conceded a low of six when their opponents start possession in the Brumbies' 22. It will be a cracker, a real arm-wrestle that will be decided in the final 10 minutes. The Brumbies to win, inside one score.

Teams:

Brumbies:
15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Robbie Coleman, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 Christian Lealiifano, 9 Nic White, 8 Ita Vaea, 7 David Pocock, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore (captain), 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 Allan Alaalatoa, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Jordan Smiler, 20 Jarrad Butler, 21 Michael Dowsett, 22 Nigel Ah Wong, 23 James Dargaville.

Bulls: 15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Francois Hougaard, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Pierre Spies (captain), 7 Arno Botha, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Flip van de Merwe, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Dean Greyling.
Replacements: 16 Callie Visagie, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Morne Mellett, 19 Jacques du Plessis, 20 Pieter Labuschagne, 21 Jacques Louis Potgieter, 22 Travis Ismaiel, 23 Jesse Kriel.
 
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant referees: Rohan Hoffmann, Ed Martin
TMO: Ian Smith

Sharks v Rebels
(Kings Park, Durban - Kick-off: 19.10; 17.10 GMT; 03.00, Saturday, May 30 AEST)

The Sharks and Rebels know they are effectively out of the running for places in the play-offs. And playing for pride only in the final round of the competition often means teams tend to throw off the shackles.

However, this seems unlikely as both teams have placed a high premium on victory.

The Rebels currently sit in 10th place on the table and the Sharks in 11th, so indications are that it will be good match up.

The Sharks have conceded the third most points in the competition. However, they have worked hard on improving their defence and do have an abundance of quality players within their squad.

Last week, the Rebels were defeated 31-15 by the Stormers in Cape Town, but produced a tenacious performance.

The Sharks, in contrast, finished their Australasian tour with victory over the Reds in Brisbane.

Having also pushing the Hurricanes and Waratahs to the limit in their previous two matches, the Rebels are expecting a another physical arm-wrestle against a "typical" South African outfit.

"They play very much like the Stormers, through channel one," Rebels coach Tony McGahan said in a teleconference call from the team's base in Durban.

"They have a very good maul and a strong scrum. Being back home they will look to get some more wins.

"No doubt they will go back to what works for them and I am sure they will be nice and direct."

McGahan gave further indication of the simplistic gameplan they are expecting from the Sharks when he said they had focused on their "game management and control" this week.

"We have worked on our kicking game and our high-ball catch," he added.

Sharks flyhalf Lionel Cronje seemed to be singing from the same hymnbook.

He said one of the aspects of their game they have been working on is their defence.

"Our whole focus has changed," Cronje said in an interview on the Sharks website.

"We have tried to put a lot of emphasis on our defence and understanding our roles from rucks into phase defence. The players' understanding is a lot clearer; the guys have really bought into the structures we want to have.

"It's really been successful in the last few weeks -we're not there yet but I think it's been a great improvement."

Previous results:
2014: Sharks won 22-16, Melbourne
2013: Sharks won 64-7, Durban
2011: Sharks won 34-32, Melbourne

Prediction: The Sharks have won 10 of the last 11 games when they have hosted Australian opposition. The Rebels' wait for a win in South Africa continues, they have lost all nine games so far and have conceded at least 30 points in eight of those games. The Rebels have made the most carries per game this season (123), while only the Cheetahs have made fewer than the Sharks (88). The Sharks have kicked from hand a tournament-high 26 times per game while only the Waratahs have kicked less often than the Rebels (17.2). Only the Stormers have conceded more tries in the 20 minutes before half-time than the Sharks (11) while the Rebels have conceded the second most in the 20 minutes after the break (14). The Rebels' winless streak in South Africa looks set to continue, as the Sharks will win by more than 10 points.

Teams:

Sharks:
15 Lwazi Mvovo, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 JP Pietersen, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Sibusiso Sithole, 10 Lionel Cronje, 9 Stefan Ungerer, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Willem Alberts/Etienne Oosthuizen, 6 Renaldo Bothma, 5 Marco Wentzel (captain), 4 Mouritz Botha, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis , 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Matt Stevens, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Lubabalo Mtyanda, 20 Etienne Oosthuizen/Khaya Majola, 21 Conrad Hoffmann, 22 Fred Zeilinga, 23 Heimar Williams.

Rebels: 15 Mike Harris, 14 Dom Shipperley, 13 Sefanaia Naivalu, 12 Mitch Inman, 11 Tom English, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Scott Higginbotham (captain), 7 Colby Fainga'a, 6 Sean McMahon, 5 Lopeti Timani, 4 Luke Jones, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Pat Leafa, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 Tom Sexton, 17 Cruze Ah-Nau, 18 Paul Alo-Emile, 19 Cadeyrn Neville, 20 Scott Fuglistaller, 21 Nic Stirzaker, 22 Jordy Reid, 23 Bryce Hegarty.

Referee: Jaco van Heerden
Assistant referees: Rodney Boneparte, Ben Crouse
TMO: Marius Jonker

Compiled by Jan de Koning
@King365ed
@rugby365com


Statistical information provided by Opta Sports
 

Mc article sithole sharks run

Sharks edge 14-man Rebels

Fri, 29 May 2015 19:21

REPORT: The Sharks survived a late Rebels charge to walk away with a narrow 25-21 victory in a match that saw six tries and a red card.

The Sharks survived a late Rebels charge to walk away with a narrow 25-21 victory in a match that saw six tries and a red card after an uneventful first half.

Two tries and a try assist to Rebels' captain Scott Higginbotham put the visitors within touching distance as the game neared its conclusion, however, the Sharks were able to hold on for a second successive victory and leave the Rebels with just a losing bonus point to show for their endeavours in a game which saw each side score three tries.

A subdued opening half hour, notable only for a Lionel Cronje penalty goal, gave no indication of what was to come as Laurie Weeks saw red after Jannie du Plessis initiated a coming together of the tight heads, with the Sharks instantly taking advantage to score through Sibusiso Sithole.

The Rebels hit back on the stroke of half time, Higginbotham spotting a gap to score his 31st Super Rugby try and Jack Debreczeni superbly converting from out wide to go in to the break down 7-10.

The Sharks' fliers were able to take advantage of the numerical difference early in the second half, with first Lwazi Mvovo and then Heimar Williams scoring, but the Rebels refused to back down and Higginbotham was able to charge in next to the uprights for a double to set up a grandstand final twenty minutes.

A second Cronje penalty extended the Sharks' lead momentarily, however when Higginbotham broke the line the Rebels were able to go coast to coast and score through Bryce Hegarty, to narrow the margin to just four points with five minutes remaining.

But time ran out for the visitors as they eventually went down, despite their best efforts.

Man of the Match: Scott Higginbotham proved once again that he is the heart and soul of the Rebels, bagging a brace while being instrumental in the build-up to their third try. For the Sharks, Sibusiso Sithole was a constant threat with blistering runs at the Rebels defence and grabbing the opening try of the match. Odwa Ndungane proved to be a nuisance under the high ball and placed the Rebels' defence under all sorts of pressure. Our award goes to a debutant who carried himself like a seasoned professional. Khaya Majola made a nuisance of himself at the breakdowns and showed an all-round solid performance.

Scorers:

For the Sharks:
Tries: Sithole, Mvovo, Williams
Cons: Cronje 2
Pens: Cronje 2

For the Rebels:
Tries:
Higginbotham 2, Hegarty
Cons: Debreczeni 3

Yellow card: Jannie du Plessis (Sharks, 29 - foul play; slapping an opponent)

Red card: Laurie Weeks (Rebels, 29 - foul play; repeatedly punching an opponent)

Teams:

Sharks: 15 Lwazi Mvovo, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 JP Pietersen, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Sibusiso Sithole, 10 Lionel Cronje, 9 Stefan Ungerer, 8 Renaldo Bothma, 7 Etienne Oosthuizen, 6 Khaya Majola, 5 Marco Wentzel (captain), 4 Mouritz Botha, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis , 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Matt Stevens, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Lubabalo Mtyanda, 20 Jean Deysel, 21 Conrad Hoffmann, 22 Fred Zeilinga, 23 Heimar Williams.

Rebels: 15 Mike Harris, 14 Dom Shipperley, 13 Sefanaia Naivalu, 12 Mitch Inman, 11 Tom English, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Scott Higginbotham (captain), 7 Colby Fainga'a, 6 Sean McMahon, 5 Lopeti Timani, 4 Luke Jones, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Pat Leafa, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 Tom Sexton, 17 Cruze Ah-Nau, 18 Paul Alo-Emile, 19 Cadeyrn Neville, 20 Scott Fuglistaller, 21 Nic Stirzaker, 22 Jordy Reid, 23 Bryce Hegarty.

Referee: Jaco van Heerden
Assistant referees: Rodney Boneparte, Ben Crouse
TMO: Marius Jonker

S'bura Sithole (34min), Lwazi Mvovo (44min), and Heimar Williams (51min)
TRIES
Scott Higginbotham (40min), Scott Higginbotham (59min), and Bryce Hegarty (75min)
Lionel Cronje (34min) and Lionel Cronje (52min)
CONVERSIONS
Jack Debreczeni (40min), Jack Debreczeni (60min), and Jack Debreczeni (76min)
Lionel Cronje (18min) and Lionel Cronje (73min)
PENALTIES
 
PENALTY TRIES
 
DROP GOALS
Jannie du Plessis (29min)
 
Laurie Weeks (29min)
 
VENUE Durban
REFEREE Jaco van Heerden (South Africa)